telecom consulting service providersThere are four end goals to achieve when preparing a telecom RFP:

  • Obtain comparable proposals that provide pricing for the services, quantities and configuration you specified.
  • Secure documents, worksheets and instructions that will facilitate your decision making process.
  • Address all your requirements, including service, billing, financial and contractual.
  • Address your company’s challenges and pain points.

This is the sixth installment of CarrierBid’s eleven part series on the telecom procurement process.

Key terms and conditions to include:

  • Contract terms – What happens when you reach the end of your contract, what will your extension terms be?  Make sure to eliminate any auto renew clause.
  • When and under what circumstances you can terminate the contract.
  • If there will be any financial assistance for service implementation or transition.
  • Billing terms – Determine your company’s right to retrieve overpayments, the provider’s right to back bill and late payment charges.
  • Minimum commitments – Term or dollar volume, what your company’s shortfall penalty would be, what amount of time you have to ramp up to meet your commitments and exactly what contributes (For instance, do local loops charges contribute?)  It’s a good idea to add a clause specifying what happens in the case of a catastrophe.  (If your installations are delayed due to a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, you don’t want to be hit with a shortfall penalty.)  You’ll want to know how often you’ll receive reports and under what circumstances adjustments can take place.
  • Rate reviews – when and under what circumstances will you receive a rate review?

Pricing:

  • To assure you’re receiving comparable bids, from companies like Qwest, AT&T & Verizon, include spreadsheets with service inventories.  Include taxes and regulatory fees.
  • Attach reasonable and realistic traffic levels, circuit information and service estimates to guide bidders.  Base these estimates on future estimates, not past experience.
  • Refrain from asking for multiple pricing examples.  Determine what you want and be specific.

New technology & network design:

When you’re goal is to implement a new technology, like SIP, VoIP or MPLS, you won’t have your existing services to use for comparison purposes.  You’ll also be entering into new territories, so it’s even RFP structure is extremely important.

  • Provide network design and configuration, in order to assure comparable bids.
  • Specify whether or not you want equipment included and if you want the equipment managed by the providers.
  • Account for possible installation delays that could affect your ability to meet revenue commitments.

Consider the time after the RFQ:

  • Include clauses that address possible price changes, add-ons and commitment changes – any discrepancies between a provider’s bid and what appears on their contract or billing.

Structuring an RFP is an important step in the telecom procurement process.  It will add direction to your efforts and require you to think about and write down your goals and specifications.  The RFP can be a road map to guide you through the procurement process.

CarrierBid can help you with any step of the telecom procurement process.  We don’t charge a fee for our service or require a share of your savings.

If you would like to receive more information regarding CarrierBid telecom consulting services, please complete the form on the right side of this page.

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